890E.01/142: Telegram

The Consul at Beirut (Gwynn) to the Secretary of State

281. Reference paragraph 2 of my 280.

Monsieur Baelen, Catroux’s Chef du Cabinet Politique told me that a letter has just been received from Casey urging the necessity of holding elections in the immediate future in Syria and Lebanon and that Casey had said the United States Government had indicated that it too desired these elections. I asked Baelen if he could give me a verbatim extract of Casey’s letter. He said that he would have to ask Catroux’s permission but thought it would not be refused. I will wire it immediately if obtainable.
In view of the ideas I have expressed, I should greatly appreciate being informed if there is any basis of truth in Casey’s reported statement.
If elections should be held, I think it a foregone conclusion that they will be not only anti-French but anti-Ally unless they are very actively manipulated.